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Southampton Clinical Trials Unit (SCTU)

Translational research

Translating discoveries from the laboratory into the real-world diagnostics and treatments of the future.

We run a programme of translational research embedded into clinical trials, working alongside our partners to ensure the very best in innovative research. We work with both academic and biotech teams, as well as pathology laboratories, to ensure our trials deliver research for rapid patient benefit.

Our translational work focuses on:

  • Deliverability: that research innovations are realistic and can work in an NHS healthcare setting
  • Collaboration: we have a large repository of patient samples that can be shared with other researchers and organisations to further research knowledge
  • Impact: we work with health economists to evaluate the impact of a potential new treatment or diagnostic test on the patients care pathway

We also work closely with:

Translational research highlight: Tackling respiratory illness using Covid-19 findings

The Universal study uses the knowledge and experience gained treating people with Covid-19 to help improve ways to prevent and treat respiratory infections.

Covid-19 virus
Covid 19 virus

This is an observational study that aims to:

  • better understand how and when patients with different respiratory viruses might progress to more serious disease
  • help develop effective antiviral treatments to combat these infections

Patients who are admitted to hospital with various respiratory infections will have blood and swab samples taken which will be sent to translational laboratories to be analysed for certain biomarkers that indicate immune and inflammatory responses in the body. Patients will also be assessed by medical teams and asked to fill in questionnaires to monitor their symptoms and any progression of the infection.

The hope is that by combining translational analysis of patient samples with information about their treatment and progression of the infection, researchers will gain a better understanding of which viruses are affecting the population and be able to identify those patients who may become more seriously ill, as well as better predicting their recovery and length of stay in hospital.

Read our news story about the Universal study.

Access trial data and patient samples for your research

The Southampton Clinical Trials Unit is committed to making trial data accessible for wider research projects and has developed a Secure Real World Data Environment (SDE) for the iDx-lung study. Our trial management, SCTU bioinformatician and statistics team are working closely with colleagues in industry, UoS Clinical Informatics Research Unit (CIRU) and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust to use cutting edge SDEs that allow approved users to access data safely and ethically, helping researchers to gain a deeper understanding of diseases, identify potential new treatments, and learn more about the diversity of healthcare needs.

We also have a large repository of patient samples from many different cell types and disease types. Trial participants have given permission for these to continue to be used in medical research.

If you would like access to these samples to use in your own research, visit our patient samples page.

Get in touch

For enquiries about our translational research, in the first instance please contact:

For more information on our patient sample repository or to request a sample: